Since you noted that Indian recipe are your favorite, I thought that I'd chime in here and tell you how fast they can be to make! Friends who come over to eat Indian, Thai, and other Asian dishes at my house often make comments about how fast these things are to make from scratch, esp. when they look at many of the recipes, which often consist of 20 or more ingredients! Often I will put rice on to cook in the rice cooker, then start the rest, and we'll have to wait for the rice to finish the last few minutes.
With any cuisines, it is necessary to have all of the the ingredients, but organization is the main key to have them done quickly. With Indian, most of the seasonings are dry, with Chinese, much of it is liquid, paste, or fermented vegetables, and SE Asian, sort of a fusion, though closer to the Chinese. The dry spices are a little quicker to measure out, and organize for cooking. Here's one of the boxes I keep my main spices in; usually I don't need another from the other boxes, except maybe the one with the spice mixes.
, on Flickr
Here's how I measure out the spices, to ready them for a dish. This is more than what is in most, as it is one of those spice mixes - sambar masala - which makes it easy to add all of this to a dish quickly! All of these spices are toasted, then ground up.
, on Flickr
Usually, I only have 3 or 4 of these cups for each recipe, often with more than one ingredient in them, as I combine all of the ingredients added at the same time in one cup. After a while you know which ones go together.
About 5 years ago I went on my "Indian Food kick" - something I have done with other cuisines, when wanting to learn all I could about them, and find the best brands and types of things, though with Indian, it's not so much brands, unless you are buying pre-made masalas, and similar things, which I don't recommend. The reason I never liked Indian food previously, was all of the untoasted spices used, giving a lot of the food a "raw cinnamon" flavor. I tested out all of the dals , and other legumes, and pretty much got off of white rice (I used to buy Jasmine rice in 25 lb bags, just for myself!), without thinking about it. while they do use a lot of white rice, I was mostly trying other things, and lost almost 50 lbs, without even trying! Now, I make a lot of Indian dishes, using various lentils, as well as whole grains - millet, quinoa, spelt, barley, and others. Not traditional, but it turns out good, and the Instant Pot makes those things quick to cook. Often they are started with an onion, and maybe some garlic, then the dal and grains added, with the water, plus maybe one of those spice mixes, cooked however long that takes, then the tadka
is made, the term "tempering" is often used for this step - some mustard seeds fried in some oil, then cumin, sometimes some urad dal, and some other spices added, along with some whole chilis, and some curry leaves last, fried 'til crisp - all this takes less than a minute usually, again, with all of the ingredients lined up to add - then this is added to the dish, and simmered a few minutes. Took me longer to type this than a standard dish like this takes to cook!
A Thai curry is also something fast to make...as long as the curry paste is made in advance - something I always have frozen.